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Fishing around docks - regardless of law, what is courteous?

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Fishing around docks - regardless of law, what is courteous?

Old 08-21-2019, 07:40 AM
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Default Fishing around docks - regardless of law, what is courteous?

I am relatively new to boating and fishing in the Intercoastal Waterway and inshore.

Question: It seems wrong to pull up to someone's dock and jig around the pilings. Maybe its just me, but how is that viewed from a dock owner's perspective? Do I have the right to do that - do they have they right to tell me to leave? Beyond the law, I guess i am asking what is seen as rude or intrusive. I would love some opinions on this.

I had a friend that had boat trouble not too long ago. He ended up doing some dock hopping to get home. He didn't have any trouble with anyone, but it made me think. If I were a dock owner, I wouldn't mind it if someone was in a tight spot. I think I would mind if every time I went out to my dock, someone was tied up and fishing under my pilings.

I could also see it it coming into play in a late summer pop-up thunderstorm. Where I put in is a long wake zone that takes a long time to get it. It hasn't happened yet, but it will. I can imagine getting caught close to home but still an hour or so from the boat ramp. If lightning pops, I am docking at the nearest dock 1st and dealing with the consequences later. Thoughts? Experiences? Thanks!!
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:44 AM
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I own a dock and I don't care if people fish around it. Now, if we were sitting on the dock having a drink or the kids were swimming, it would be kind of rude to barge in and starting throwing lures or bait towards us, but any other time I don't care. Just don't snag my boat cover with a treble hook. Also, retrieve any hooks, lures, baits that accidentally get hung up.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:52 AM
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Fishing is fine legally. Fishing while the dock is being occupied is IMO lacking courtesy. Do not tie up unless an emergency.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:43 AM
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Boat in distress or limping home - always welcome, want a beer?
fish my unoccupied dock from a boat - enjoy. It's open water
fish my unoccupied dock from my dock - call police. Yeah this happens to a neighbor a few doors down from me a few times a year.
fish my unoccupied dock at night with my green light on - enjoy, it's open water but please stop bouncing jigs off my shit
fish my OCCUPIED dock at night with my green light on and the gf is fishing - 98% wait till we finish as the light is (was) on all night, every night.
fish my OCCUPIED dock at night with my green light on and the gf is fishing - 2% er's - Ive asked politely if they would wait till we went inside. I have been given shit about owning the water or some other bs comment on more than 1 occasion. I know, technically they are correct. Needless to say my unfortunate course of action is the light is on only now when we use it and if some jackwagon decides to fish it while we're fishing I just turn it off and then they leave.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:48 AM
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If a dock is occupied, I'll exchange pleasantries and move on down the line. No shortage of docks to fish, that's for sure. I value the solitude of fishing and respect the value of it to others.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:01 AM
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I own docks and have for decades; I have no problem with people fishing around my dock as long as they are skilled enough not to cast on my dock or my boats. I make it a point to look at my props every time I use a boat to see if someone left their line tangled on it.

I fish docks too but would pass by an occupied dock and can't remember the last time I hooked someone's dock or boat.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:19 AM
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I fish docks in the Indian River all the time. I never had an issue. I throw UNDER docks; not on. I don't hit boats, play toys, deck furniture, etc. If someone is on the dock I leave it alone and generally exchange pleasantries with the occupants. I DO look under occupied docks and if I see something, I tell them what it is and ask permission for a couple tosses. Most folks like to watch a good fight at or near their docks. Keep it light and never demand access. If they get belligerent or threatening, just move on - no harm. Leave your middle fingers wrapped around your rod and swallow the four letter words.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:22 AM
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I fish docks at night. I would never fish an occupied dock or a dock next to an occupied dock. There are plenty of good, quiet docks to fish. I'm also very careful not to press my luck casting toward a boat or other personal property.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:29 AM
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Is it rude to pee off the dock while a boat is fishing under it?
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish Haid View Post
Is it rude to pee off the dock while a boat is fishing under it?
It's all about entertainment.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:16 AM
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As someone that grew up bass fishing, fishing docks are a way of life! I've never even thought twice about flipping around or under docks in the ICW, even if they're occupied. I once caught a keeper flounder right under a dock owner while they were drinking a beer. He just looked at me, shook his head, and raised his beer. He said in all his years of living there he's never caught a flounder off his dock.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
I own docks and have for decades; I have no problem with people fishing around my dock as long as they are skilled enough not to cast on my dock or my boats. I make it a point to look at my props every time I use a boat to see if someone left their line tangled on it.

I fish docks too but would pass by an occupied dock and can't remember the last time I hooked someone's dock or boat.
This exactly. Dock owners shouldn't be bitchy about folks fishing around their docks, and fisherman should feel free to do so, assuming they too are courteous, and skilled enough to not get hung on the dock or bounce leads off the hull sides of any boats that are tied up to it. Also if folks are swimming skip it and hit the next dock.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:25 AM
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fishing docks is acceptable - just dont leave a bunch of hooks on their boat, dock etc.

Fishing an occupied dock will likely get your boat filled with hooks & other lines when the occupants decide it's OK to fish your boat.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish Haid View Post
Is it rude to pee off the dock while a boat is fishing under it?
No, when people fish off of your dock, you need to mark your territory.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:36 AM
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Legal or not, It's called respecting someones personal space. I live in a condo and all the lawn area is called common ground. Everyone in the complex owns all the common ground. So, technically I can go sit on someones front lawn and have a picnic. Would I do it? H**l NO.
Unfortunately some people think just because it's legal they can intrude into someones space. I'm a fisherman, and I would not even consider fishing around someones dock when the residents are anywhere around.

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Old 08-21-2019, 03:49 PM
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This dialogue was exactly what I was looking for.

When I posted before, I never even considered fishing an occupied dock and I can't imagine having the nerve to get off my boat and on to someone's dock to fish. I cant believe people do that! In short, apply common sense, don't be an ass, and if a dock owner chooses to be a jerk, move on. Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:33 PM
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If you're visiting a dock and the lady of the house offers to show you her hedgehog is the polite thing to do is to accept the invitation? Would PETA care that she was keeping a hedgehog as a pet? What is the appropriate technique to stroke a hedgehog?
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:48 PM
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Don't miss Joyce's dock. It's a real hot spot according to some.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:03 PM
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Since you asked, I don't like it. I have to periodicaly remove all the hooks. leaders and line from the docks, pilings and the lines for the boats. Once in the dark, I pulled on a line and got a hook jammed into my hand. My front door is only about 20 feet from the dock, so it is a major invasion of privacy. I have lived here all my long life and this was never an issue before the last 10 years. As you may have noticed, everyone has gotten much ruder.
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mdowling73 View Post
This dialogue was exactly what I was looking for.

When I posted before, I never even considered fishing an occupied dock and I can't imagine having the nerve to get off my boat and on to someone's dock to fish. I cant believe people do that! In short, apply common sense, don't be an ass, and if a dock owner chooses to be a jerk, move on. Thanks!
WHAT?! Who said anything about getting off their boat and onto someones dock? The dock is their private property and that would be the equivalent of trespassing. I use my trolling motor and keep my boat about 20-30 feet away from the dock and do pitch casts (I use baitcast reels) to flip my lure around pilings and under docks. If I ever get hung up and/or break off I always go retrieve my hook. I don't want some kid, or anyone really, getting stuck by a hook.
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